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Bebop Spoken There

Dave Puddy: "Eventually we paid our entrance money [to Eel Pie Island] and fought our way to one of the many bars where we could buy our Newcastle Brown and retire to the back of the heaving dancefloor. There must have been lights somewhere, but my memory remains of being in some dark cavernous wonderland." - (Just Jazz July 2020)

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11,612 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 747 of them this year alone and, so far, 11 this month (July 3).

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.
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Born This Day
Louis Armstrong and Steve Andrews.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

CD Review: Tommy Smith w. BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra - Modern Jacobite

Tommy Smith (tenor sax/orchestrations) w. BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Clark Rundell.
(Review by Lance)
Going back to Paul Whiteman, then, through the years, to Alec Templeton, John Dankworth, Gunther Schuller and many others, jazz musicians and composers have tried to fuse the two idioms – jazz and European classical music. The results have varied from the abysmal to the near sublime. This, I’m pleased to say, is closer to the latter category. Smith succeeds where most have failed by making the saxophone a solo instrument as compatible with a symphony orchestra as a violin, cello or clarinet and possibly more so  than an oboe or a bassoon.
Vocalise, by Rachmaninoff, opens up and Smith’s subtle variations could well have been written into the score had the Russian composer been born somewhat later and in Scotland!
A portmanteau of compositions, ostensibly by Chick Corea, entitled, simply Children’s Songs are delivered with inspirational verve.
The Stan Getz/Eddie Sauter, Miles Davis/Gil Evans collaborations spring to mind but this is a Smith/Smith collaboration that loses nothing by comparison. It lays down a benchmark for arrangers with ‘pretensions’ - pretensions that will be unlikely to reach this level.
Smith soars through, above and beyond, yet always with the symphony orchestra sawing away behind him. He could have been blowing in front of SNJO or a jazz club trio in Edinburgh, the result would have been the same – tenor perfection.
There will be few better tenor saxophone records this year.
In fact there will be few better jazz records this year.
Probably no better ‘classical’ records this year.
Truth is, there will be few better records this year.
Lance.
Tommy Smith w. BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra - Modern Jacobite will be available on August 26 (Spartacus STS022)

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